Thursday, September 25, 2014

The Fruit of the Spirit

There's nothing like a look in the Bible to show you who you really are. And I don't ever find I'm impressed with myself after these glimpses in the mirror. Last week I started studying the fruit of the Spirit. All I had to do was look up the definitions of the words to realize that I don't have enough fruit growing in my life. 
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. Galatians 5:22-23
After this week with my family I realized:
-I am lacking in love. Have you read the Bible description of love in 1 Cor. 13? Go read that and apply it to your behavior toward your husband and children. How are you doing? 
-My joy is often faltering. And I find it's little things that assault my joy so effectively: things like accidents, repetitious words, cloudy weather, scheduling conflicts. 
-Peace is often comparable to quiet. And there is little of that with little ones. 
-Longsuffering is expressed by sighing and eye-rolling. I don't think that's the longsuffering with joyfulness mentioned in Col. 1:11. 
-Gentleness often gives way to frustration over repeated misbehavior. And if God's gentleness helped make David great (Psalm 18:35) how much more do my babies need it? 
-Goodness has fallen by the wayside. And it's a key characteristic of God's lady in Titus 2:5
-My faith is weak when I can't see what God is doing. And that seems to be always. 
-Meekness has disappeared as I am often controlled by my feelings and annoyances. 
-And temperance goes out the door as I drink Dr. Pepper and raise my voice again. 

So what do I do? Do I quit?  Of course not. 

Only God can do this great work in my life. And He's changing me every day. Those annoyances and frustrations are ultimately very small, regardless of how big they seem in the moment. But God is using them like sandpaper to change me. And to show me how much I need Him. Isn't that the starting point? We are in the deepest trouble when we think we can handle it on our own and don't need God's help. But when confronted with my own life I see just how deeply I need Jesus every day in the smallest matter. 

I want to be a glove, just the instrument. I want God's hand to do the work, to make my life sing for Him.  So every day I surrender to Him to His work for that day. I spend time with Him. And then prayer is the breath of my heart as I go throughout the day. Of course, like anyone's life, there will be frustrations and annoyances and trials. But it's in those things that we show who is really living in our lives: us or Jesus. 
I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. Galatians 2:20


  1. So interesting how Peace we link with quiet ... a futile endeavor with children! Yet HIS peace is found in all circumstances. Thank you for your reminders today! Blessings.

    1. Yes! My peace only extends to certain situations but His can go everywhere!